All Black centre and Chiefs Captain Richard Kahui will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season as he needs surgery on his shoulder.
Kahui dislocated his shoulder playing against the Reds last month which ruled him out of the Test series against Ireland.
The Chiefs captain had hoped that he could recover in time to play again this season but All Black coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that the injury would require surgery.
"He's now going to have surgery, and that could be six months before he's back playing, so we won't see him until next year's Super 15," Hansen told NZ Newswire.
"It's a real shame for him, because he was playing outstandingly good rugby."
Kahui's injury follows a damaged left shoulder in 2009 which was followed by a fracture in his right shoulder in 2010 and an operation to fix rotator cuff and cartilage damage.
"It's not the first time it's happened, that's the problem, but at the same time having done it and gone through it before he knows there's light at the end of the tunnel," Hansen said.
"Though it's devastating on one hand, on the other hand he's had the experience of going through it and we'll manage him well in conjunction with the Chiefs and get him back as soon as we can."
Former Chiefs coach and now All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said that believed Kahui was capable of overcoming the latest setback and returning for the Chiefs and the All Blacks.
"It's going to require a big commitment from him, particularly to mentally go through that process again," he said.
"I think he's certainly capable of it, he's shown that."